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Old 07-30-2011, 08:30 PM
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TexasRN TexasRN is offline
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Default Heart rates for runners

So I joined a running group and have bought myself a heart monitor to use. I know next to nothing about how to go about preparing for a half marathon type run and plan to start with a basic Warrior Dash. Anyway, back to my question....

My calculated max heart rate is 184. The running group I joined does run/walk intervals working up to a 5K in September. Well doing the intervals right now I get to a heart rate of 202 long about the 4th run interval. My bf is thinking I should hold back more to keep my heart rate in a target range instead of letting it get that high and maintaining it between 195 and 202 for the rest of the run. What's the best and the safest way for me to get to my goal? I am 100% healthy and have seen a Dr who cleared me for any exercise I want to do. I plan to eventually be able to do a half marathon.


~Amy
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:39 AM
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First of all, congratulations on starting up running.

Everybody is different, so it's hard to be precise without a lot of info, such as age, weight, athletic background, medical history, etc.

I need a bit of clarification before I can give much advice. When you say 'max calculated' heart rate, do you mean the typical '80% of max' which is recommended for cardio benefits? If 184 truly is your 'max', then I'd be concerned with going into the 200+ range.

How long are the walk & run intervals? If you're getting into the 200+ range in the 4th interval even after 3 walking breaks, I'd say you are pushing it too hard.

Do you have a specific time you're aiming for in the half?

I can base some things on personal experience. After avoiding all things cardio for 20 years, I started running 4 years ago. I have run 3 half marathons in the past 3 years & my heart rate doesn't get much above 160-165, which is pretty well 85% of max heart rate for my age. However, I run it right around the 2 hour mark & train as such. If I wanted to improve significantly, I'd have to raise the intensity & thus the heart rate. I still wouldn't go much past the mid 180's though.

Anyway, there's lots of active & athletic people on this site. I'm sure others will chime in with their good advice.

Good luck with the running.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:44 AM
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When I say calculated max heart rate I am talking about that formula where you subtract your age from 220. The walking breaks only last 1 minute so they aren't very long. I am just aiming for eventually doing a half marathon, I don't have anything on the horizon yet and have no clue how long it would take me to run it right now.

I am mostly wondering if it is better to keep my heart rate in a target range or is it better to push to get better and increase my cardio?



~Amy
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:22 PM
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I don't know a lot about running long distances, Amy. I'll see what